Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Socially busy week

We thought the week leading up to Christmas and between Christmas and New Year were busy ones. Yet, here we are again this week: two invitations to go out before the week was two days old! 

Amanda and Andre are going out on their break and invited everyone to their home for a BBQ. We all pitched in; bringing raw steaks, salads, breads. Tilla baked her delicious-passion fruit cake. Amanda has passion vines from where Tilla got the flavoring which makes this cake so scrumptious.
The ladies of Mwadui and our camp child, need no excuse for a get-together! From left: Tilla, Wessie, Louise, Amanda, Debbie, Jo

Debbie and Phillip's cats which were operated on here in our house last week, are as fit as fiddles. They were all visiting at Amanda's house while we had the BBQ.
Ginger-Ale climbs a tree near me to show how well he's recuperated from his ordeal

The next day, Tuesday 13 January, several of us were invited to good friends and hotel owners' Minaz and Ruby. It was Minaz' 50th birthday. 
Minaz and his darling wife, Ruby
Minaz cuts his birthday cake which Ruby's chef baked 
Traditionally in East Africa, you feed each other celebration cake
Minaz - looking good at 50!
After the cake-cutting ceremony and singing to the Birthday "Boy", the men went back to their socializing

We ladies were seated at a table which was laden with delectable Indian "bitings" (snacks). 

Six weeks ago, Grant's financial manager, Mani brought 
me a beautiful Indian saree from India. Ruby  cut the extra "plain" piece off the one side of the nine meter cloth.  I took this piece to my tailor, Mr Cheddy, with another tight-fitting saree blouse (which Mani's wife had included in my parcel) and explained what I needed. Mr Cheddy never disappoints and the next day he arrived with the saree blouse - perfectly made! On one visit to Shinyanga, Ruby sent me into town to buy soft cotton material with which she  made the inner petticoat. 

If interested you can read here about The Art of Wearing a Saree .

Originally I was going to wear the saree on Christmas Eve, but as I was busy with catering for Grant's staff, I couldn't imagine it being very comfortable for a first time wearer. I packed my  beautiful saree away.

When we were invited to Minaz' birthday this week, I sent Ruby a WA and asked if she would have time to drape and fold the saree when I arrived at the hotel. The darling girl said fine and did just that. 

So instead of the ubiquitous Mama Africa outfits favored by expats, I arrived at the party thus:
Mama Mhindi / Mama India
(Photo credit: Amanda Stoop) 

Later on Amanda suggested I have another photo; it was darker and she reckoned the gold and green of my saree would show up even better. I asked Nsia to pose with me.  The colors of the beautiful cloth do show up beautifully but the bindi (which you can see on my forehead in the photo above) isn't visible in the next photo! 
Bibi Jo and rafiki Nsia
(Photo credit: Amanda Stoop) 

I loved wearing this elegant outfit last night, and am grateful to Mr Cheddy who made the green blouse with such authenticity and thank you, dear Ruby for dressing me.



  1. the dress is beautiful and you wore it well, everyone looks so happy and full of joy. i love their yard to

  2. Hi Jo You certainly all are having a wonderful time. The best thing in this post today is you in the sari dress. you look wonderful although I cannot see what is on your head!

  3. Hello Jo, the cake looks delicious.. You are the social queen. I love your pretty outfit, you look lovely.. Happy Birthday to your friend, Minaz.
    Enjoy your day!

  4. I think the sari is beautiful and it was an appropriate place to wear it for the first time. Looks like you are all having a very social time indeed. Have fun!

  5. You o look lovely in your sari and happy too.

  6. I wonder when you are all working ?? All I can see are parties, lol ! The sari looks just wonderful on you !


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